Let's cut the crap about totalitarianism. Do you think Obama wants to be a despot? Do you think Bush did?
The real issue here is that the America people have given their president a mission that he does not have the powers to complete. The world is changing. We can't declare war on our enemies anymore. We can't identify them by the colors they're wearing. Now we're directing our government to put down organizations that exist in many different countries and feature people of many nationalities (even American citizens!).
Our institutions were not designed to fight this kind of war. We must design them. We should be passing a constitutional amendment that handles these sorts of situations. There should be a dialogue going on where we the people determine what values should be involved. We need new, big ideas for a new world.
Unfortunately, we don't want to discuss big ideas anymore. Everything needs to be pushed away while we stick to talking points and bureaucracy. As a result, the president is making these decisions on his own behind closed doors. This is unacceptable. It's a shame too, because I'm sure we could reach a broad consensus. But until we're willing to have adult conversations about these things, our government will continue to change in the shadows.